I have an axe to grind with my generation. All those late 20s, 30something, early 40s people who, let's face it, behave worse than their kids. We, as a whole, belong to the Shortcuts & Excuses Generation. Busy running from any and all responsibilities like a scared rabbit, busy looking for someone else to blame for our mistakes, for the way our lives turned out, for everything we can, busy imagining how it could've, should've, would've been better in a different city / job / relationship, busy trying to find the shortcuts for how to be rich / thin / famous in 90 days and without working hard, busy telling ourselves that it's fine, life will wait, time will stop, and how 40 is the new 20 or something like that. Well, it is not. And I've had enough.
I know not everyone in my generation is like that, but the very sad truth is a lot of people are, and plenty of them have blogs in which they think it's okay to let loose. Which is absolutely true. Right up to the point where they start blaming their kids. It drives me mad, because, seriously - how dare you pick on someone half your size? What you are doing has a name, you know, and not a really nice one at that. I've come to recognise them at first sight, those posts. They are usually written in blogs that have a huge photo of a baby at the top, and right below they have an about me that says how they are "struggling", "used to be this or that", "scruffy" or "bored to tears". The posts will have sentences like "I love my baby, but", "I sometimes wish I never had my baby", "I don't like my kids", and of course "I sacrificed so much of my life for my baby", they have catchy names like "20 things to do before getting pregnant" or "what you'll miss after having kids","what to do with a toddler while hang-over" or "why your life is ruined". They all advise you to buy very large yoga-pants, never shower, and get used to having no life, no brain and no friends. After all you've had a baby. And they sign it with an all knowing "I've been a mum for 14 weeks. I cracked the whole thing". Which is like saying, yes I went to nursery, I don't need to go to university. I know everything there is to know.
This things annoy the hell out of me. I read it and all I hear is a child having a tantrum. I sometimes wish I could send all those posts to a time-out.
I read these posts and I want to pull my hair out. Because of the mother who got shit-faced drunk with a toddler in the house and thought it's really funny and not irresponsible, because of the father who hates spending time with his 4 kids and keeps having more of them, because of the mother who announced to the world that she hide in the bathroom while alone in the house with her toddler and he doesn't know where she is, because of the mother who said life is over when you have a baby, because of the mother who stayed 8 years as a stay-at-home-mum and hated every moment and her kids for it, and announced that every stay-at-home-mum lives on prozac and wine, because of every mother who announce nonchalantly "I love my baby. But...". There shouldn't really be a but like that. You shouldn't really live your life resenting your children. First of all because they don't deserve it, and second of all because they don't stay tiny forever. They will grow up and know. And the price you will pay then is overwhelmingly high.
I read all these posts and I wonder, when did we stop growing up? When did we stop taking responsibility for our actions? for our choices? Because that is what having a baby is - a responsibility and a choice. Nobody stood with a gun to any of those women's head and said - have a baby now! No, what happened, more than once, is that it fit their schedule. What happened to - you should want a baby with all your heart before you make one? How have babies become one more item on the todo list?
These posts often get a lot of publicity, and a lot of LOLs and LMAOs and other ho-ho-ho and ha-ha-ha comments, and they can give the impression that they are right. That that is the way people should live, or behave or think after having a baby. That life really is this. Are life really over after having a baby? Should you really expect to be filled with your baby's body fluids all day long? Does having a baby really mean you should never wear jeans or make-up? Will you never again have a good night sleep? Does it really matter so much if you breastfeed or bottle-feed? Do you really have to sacrifice to be a good parent?
The answer is no. I don't presume to know a lot. But I do know this - yes, babies are a lot of work. But they grow up. Make sure you do too.